CHICAGO — This was once the place the place Charles Barkley competed in opposition to his good friend and foe, Michael Jordan. These days although, the Chicaho Bulls have turn into only a punchline.
“I’ve been very disenchanted within the Bulls,” Barkley mentioned at a TNT promotional occasion on Thursday on the Home of Blues. “I do not know what they’re doing.”
Not solely do the Bulls have a 19-36 file, Chicago will host the NBA All-Star Recreation on Sunday with none Bulls representatives. Naturally, Barkley had lots to say about that and different NBA subjects. Beneath is an edited Q&A of what the outspoken TNT analyst mentioned.
On the state of the Bulls
Barkley: “I do not know. I’m not going to lie in you. I’ve been very disenchanted within the Bulls. I do not know what they’re doing. I do not know what has occurred to Lauri Markkanen. I assumed he was going to be the subsequent large factor, and he has regressed.”
On Zach LaVine not being within the All-Star Recreation
Barkley: “He didn’t deserve it.”
Barkley: “As a result of he didn’t deserve it.”
On gamers complaining about getting snubbed within the All-Star Recreation
Barkley: “Once you’re 5-75, you don’t have the suitable to be snubbed. Severely. All the blokes that say they received snubbed are on the worst groups within the NBA. You’re not even aggressive. In case your workforce is fairly good, you may get snubbed. But when your workforce is in final place, you’re not snubbed. You don’t deserve it.”
On Bulls coach Jim Boylen
Barkley: “Jim Boylen is an efficient good friend of mine, and I’ll go away it that. Jim Boylen is an efficient good friend of mine. However I don’t know what the Bulls are doing.”
On the Philadelphia 76ers’ inconsistency
Barkley: “They should develop up, mature and understand they received an opportunity to be an elite workforce. However they aren’t mentally powerful in any respect. They’re the Cleveland Browns of the NBA. They need to inform you how good they’re as an alternative of enjoying. They want a veteran man that can maintain the younger guys accountable.”
On if the NBA ought to allow gamers to smoke marijuana
Barkley: “I’m not a pot man. I’ve had pot like 5 instances, and it simply makes me need potato chips. However I received to be progressive. Hear, in the event you’re utilizing pot to heal your physique and issues like that, I suppose I can settle for it. However I don’t need guys smoking pot simply because they like smoking pot. I don’t suppose you’ll be able to examine basketball to soccer. However I do know it’s been useful to my soccer associates. However in the event you’re going to make use of hashish — I have to be getting outdated, I’m saying hashish. In case you’re going to smoke weed or pot, it higher be for the suitable causes. Don’t simply do it since you’re a druggie. I’m very delicate to the topic. I had a brother who died younger who was a junkie. Medication are an actual critical difficulty to me. However I’ve to be open-minded. In case you’re going to make use of medicine for the suitable causes, effective. However I don’t need to give individuals carte blanche to make use of.”
On what he expects to see at NBA All-Star weekend.
Barkley: “Nothing however enjoyable. It’s only a enjoyable weekend. That is the one break these guys get. The very best gamers are right here. So hopefully the opposite guys are right here and resting up for the remainder of the playoffs.”
On what he thinks of the All-Star Recreation
Barkley: “It’s a really effective line between unusual and silly. I’m on silly.”
How ought to followers watch this then?
Barkley: “Simply to have enjoyable. These guys all play for various groups. They’re not going to exit and attempt to kick one another’s ass. Then any individual will get harm and we’ll be like, ‘Oh man, they shouldn’t have been enjoying that tough.’ The All-Star out of all of the 4 sports activities, we now have far and away the perfect weekend. On Friday evening, we present the younger stars. That’s nice for the followers. On Saturday evening, which is the perfect evening, we now have the slam dunk and Three-point taking pictures contest, then Sunday ought to be a enjoyable. Might they play a bit of more durable? Sure. However I don’t need them to return out and kill one another in an exhibition sport.”
Observe Mark Medina on Twitter @MarkG_Medina.